A HORRIFYING road accident which left two young women dead and two more in hospital fighting for their lives has devastated the communities of Llandybie and Penygroes.
The four women were passengers in a Ford Escort which ploughed into the back of a Bedford flat-bed truck on the A48 near Pont Abraham in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The driver of the vehicle, nursing auxiliary Trina Marie Childs (20), of Cae Coed, Llandybie, and her front-seat passenger, Sian Budden (22), of Waterloo Road, Penygroes, were killed instantly.
Newsagents' daughter Catherine Rachel Roberts (17), of Norton Road, Penygroes, and Cathy Thomas, of Gate Road, Penygroes, were rushed to Morriston Hospital with multiple injuries.
The survivors, who were travelling in the rear of the Escort, underwent immediate surgery. On Tuesday, they were still in a critical condition in the hospital's intensive care unit.
Staff at Leo's Cross Hands store, where Sian worked, and at Ammanford's Parcwern Nursing Home, where Trina was employed, paid tribute this week to the two victims.
All four women were good friends. Cathy Thomas and Sian worked together, while Catherine Roberts and Trina were both employed at Parcwern as nursing auxiliaries.
Parcwern matron Dorthy McDonald said Trina was a valuable member of her team and would be greatly missed.
“We are all one big family here,” Mrs McDonald told the Guardian, “and Trina was part of that family.
“Parcwern is usually a happy home, full of laughter. But we are sunk in gloom this week and everyone is on automatic pilot.”
Mrs McDonald said staff and residents were “hoping and praying” that Catherine would recover quickly form her injuries.
Trina, whose sister, Tracy, also works at Parcwern, had just applied to start her nursing training at Heath Hospital, Cardiff, Mrs McDonald added.
“We have a memorial garden at Parcwern,” she said, “and we hope to place a testimonial to Trina there in due course.”
Firemen for Ammanford, Tumble and Llanelli fought for more than an hour to cut the four women from the wreckage'
Ambulance crews from Ammanford and Llanelli, as well paramedics from Tumble attended the scene.
They set up drips and life support units for the two injured women, and helped firemen in the delicate task of freeing them from the wreckage.
The crash happened at 2.30 am on Sunday, while the four friends were travelling from the Gwernllwyn Country Club, at Cross Hands, to Pont Abraham service area for coffee, before returning home.
A police spokesman said the Bedford truck had stopped to give someone a lift, just a few hundred yards from the Pont Abraham roundabout, when the Escort collided with its rear end.
The driver of the Bedford, Mr Walter Morgan Price (23), of Cwrt Mawr Farm, Felindre, escaped with minor whiplash injuries.
The eastbound carriageway of the A48 was closed for more than three hours.